Tuesday, April 20, 2021
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Fedral Govt Tackles UK On Asylum To IPOB Members

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The Federal Government says the reported decision of the United Kingdom to grant asylum to “persecuted” members of the Indigenous People of Biafra is disrespectful of Nigeria as a nation.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, also said that the decision amounted to sabotaging the fight against terrorism and generally undermining Nigeria’s security.

Fielding questions at a News Agency of Nigeria flagship interview programme, NANForum, on Tuesday in Abuja, Mohammed said the decision is unacceptable to Nigeria.

“Let me say straight away that this issue is within the purview of the Honourable Minister of Foreign Affairs and I am sure he will handle it appropriately.

“But as the spokesman for the Federal Government of Nigeria, I will say that if indeed the report that the UK will grant asylum to supposedly persecuted IPOB and MASSOB members is true, then something is wrong somewhere.

“Against the background of the fact that IPOB is not only proscribed but also designated as a terrorist organisation here in Nigeria, the UK’s decision is disrespectful of Nigeria as a nation.

“The decision amounts to sabotaging the fight against terrorism and generally undermining Nigeria’s security.

“It is not only unconscionable, it is inexplicable,’’ he said.

The minister said that there had recently been heightened attacks against security agencies in the South-East zone.

He said IPOB had been fingered as being behind the attacks in spite of its denials.

“For the UK to choose this time to give succour to IPOB beggars belief and calls to question the UK’s real intention.

“If we could go down the memory lane, what the UK has done is like Nigeria offering asylum to members of the IRA before the 1998 Good Friday Peace Agreement,’’ he said.

NAN reports that the UK Visas and Immigration had released new guidelines to its decision-makers on how to consider and grant asylum applications by members of Biafran secessionist groups.

In the guidelines, asylum is to be granted to “persecuted” members IPOB, a group that Nigeria had designated as a terrorist organisation.

Also in the guidelines, asylum is to be granted to the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra.

Breaking: Ex-US Vice President Is Dead

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Former US Vice President, Walter Mondale is dead.

He died at the age of 93.

A statement from his family said Mondale died on Monday even though no cause was given for his death.

Reacting, current Vice President, Kamala Harris said in a statement that her predecessor “led an extraordinary life of service.”

Harris also described Mondale as one who was “so generous with his wit and wisdom over the years.”

She prayed that God grants him rest and comforts his family.

Also, a former US President, Jimmy Carter who Mondale served under as a Vice President in a statement described Mondale as a great friend and the best Vice President America ever had.

“Today, I mourn the passing of my dear friend, Walter Mondale, who I consider the best vice president in our country’s history.

“He was an invaluable partner and an able servant of the people of Minnesota, the United States, and the world.

“May God grant him rest and comfort the family he left behind,” he said.

Before his death, Mondale served as vice president under Jimmy Carter from 1977 to 1981.

He also served as ambassador to Japan between 1993 and 1996

Senate To Investigate CCT Chairman, Umar, Over Alleged Assault On Security Guard

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The Senate on Tuesday mandated its standing Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions to investigate the alleged assault on a security guard, Clement Sargwak.

Recall that the CCT Chairman, Danladi Umar was criticised weeks ago for allegedly assaulting a security guard in a viral video, an accusation he has vehemently denied.

Following a public backlash against Umar, Sagwak petitioned the Senate through Sen. Istifanus Gyang (Plateau North).

Gyang at the plenary said the petitioner was seeking justice, given the assault on him by the Tribunal Judge, while carrying out his duty.

He noted that the petitioner alleged that Umar assaulted him and asked him to kneel down and also slapped him

However, President of the Senate Ahmed Lawan after much deliberation on the issue asked the committee on Ethics and privileges headed by Sen. Ayo Akinyelure to investigate the matter and report in four weeks.

NAN reports that the Senate investigation was based on the fact that the petitioner was yet to seek redress in court.

FG Lifts Ban On Registration Of New SIMs

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The Federal Government has approved the activation of new SIM card registration with mandatory National Identity Number linking, starting from April 19, 2021.

This was disclosed in a statement signed on Thursday by the Technical Assistant (Information Technology) to the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Femi Adeluyi.

According to him, in line with the Nigerian Communications Act 2003, Section 23(a), the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami, coordinated and led the development of a revised National Digital Identity Policy for SIM card registration in collaboration with all other stakeholders.

He noted that the key aspects of the draft policy were presented to the stakeholders at the 4th review meeting of the Ministerial Task Force on the NIN-SIM registration which held in February.

Dr Pantami also presented the revised policy to President Muhammadu Buhari, on March 26, and the final amendments were completed Wednesday with further improvements and endorsed by the President.

The policy includes guidelines on new SIM acquisition and activation, SIM replacement, New SIM activation for corporates and Internet-of-Things/Machine-to-Machine, amongst others.

For the corporate registration, institutions would be required to appoint a Telecoms Master (at the minimum of an Executive Management level) to provide the operational Primary NIN representation.

The Telecoms Master would also be responsible to ensuring that the users provide their NINs to serve as a secondary NIN, according to the statement.

The statement said, “For IoT/M2M activations, SIM security protocols would be implemented on the SIM profile to ensure that SIMs can only be used for point to point data services specific to the URL they are working with. All other services will be barred.

“In the event that a data only service is particular to individual use (eg home car tracking, WiFi, MiFi services, etc), the standard NIN registration process will be followed. A Telecoms Master will also be required for Corporates requiring IoT/M2M activations.”

Speaking on the NIN registration progress, Adeluyi said the biometric verification process had been slower than anticipated, owing largely to the non-adherence of many previous SIM biometric capture processes to the National Identity Management Commission standards.

He added that the revised policy would ensure that operators conform to the required standards for biometric capture.

He stated, “The implementation of the policy will commence on Monday, 19th of April 2021. The issuance of new SIMs and other suspended activities will resume on the same date, as long as verification is done and the guidelines are fully adhered to.

“The minister has also directed Nigerian Communications Commission and NIMC to ensure that the provisions of the policy are strictly followed by all operators and subscribers.”

Citizens and legal residents were encouraged to bear with the government as the process had been developed in the best interest of the country.

Chibok Girls, Other Victims Of Kidnapping Not Forgotten – FG

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The Federal Government has again reiterated that the Chibok girls, Leah Sharibu and others in captivity of Boko Haram insurgents are not forgotten.

It assured parents and relatives of victims that plans were ongoing to rescue them from their captors and prevent further kidnap of students from schools across the country.

Seven years ago, 276 girls were abducted from Chibok Secondary School in Chibok, a community in Borno State.

Some of the girls were said to have escaped and others were rescued by the military but about a hundred of them are still believed to be with their abductors.

The kidnap attracted local and international outcries, which led to various protests with demand to rescue the girls and reunite them with their families.

However, some of the girls are still being held by their captors.

The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Farouq, on the 7th anniversary of the abduction of the Chibok girls, said relevant ministries and agencies were working to ensure the rescue of those still with their captors.

She said: “As the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, it grieves me to have to mark this 7th anniversary of the abduction of the Chibok girls.

“Our government came into power with a public mandate to control the insurgency in the north east that led to the Chibok girls’ abduction and to fight the corruption that hampered the rescue effort, which corruption created the deprivations that have made the north east a breeding area for terrorists.

“We have achieved a lot but significant work remains for all levels of government. Half of the Chibok girls have been rescued and reunited with their families and have resumed their education.

“We will continue working to bring back those left behind. Local, State and Federal government readiness to respond to attacks on schools is greatly improved.

“We are working to prevent such attacks from occurring in the first place”.

PDP Blames Buhari For Twitters’ African Headquarters In Ghana

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The Peoples Democratic Party, on Wednesday, lamented the alleged unabating misrule of the regime of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd), and the All Progressives Congress.

The opposition party said Buhari’s incompetence pushed Twitters to site its African Headquarters in Ghana despite the fact that Nigeria has far more twitter traffic and more business prospects.

The PDP in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, said, “Twitter’s preference for Ghana over Nigeria was occasioned by inconsistent economic policies, obnoxious suppression of free speech, stifling of online freedom and open internet by the Buhari administration and the APC.”

The statement read in part, “This is in addition to infrastructural decay, massive corruption and manifest failure of the Buhari Presidency and the APC to address the escalated insecurity brought upon our nation by their incompetent watch.

“Indeed the decision by Twitter to by-pass Nigeria to locate its African operational base in Ghana is another sad commentary of how our nation, which was hitherto a global investment hub under the PDP, has now been so degraded in global economic competitiveness under the APC.

“Nigerians were heavily despaired on Monday when the founder of Twitter, Jack Dorsey, announced that his company will be setting up its headquarters on the continent in Ghana despite Nigeria’s domineering twitter traffic in the sub region.

“With an estimated 39.6 million twitter subscribers in Nigeria, which is bigger than the population of Ghana, Nigeria ought to be the destination, but for the anti-people policies of the APC administration.

“It is sad that our nation has continued to lose huge foreign direct investments, which would have brought in more economic opportunities, especially for our youths, just because the Buhari Presidency and the APC lack the capacity to deliver on good governance.

“The preference by Twitter for Ghana over Nigeria has further demonstrated that the Buhari administration’s claims on ease of doing business in Nigeria are mere media hypes.

“Moreover, if President Buhari and the APC have the interest of the struggling youth demography of our nation at heart, they ought to have taken the necessary proactive steps to ensure that Twitter brought this huge investment to Nigeria, particularly given that we have the highest number of Twitter users on the continent.

” It is indeed disturbing that the Buhari administration is taking no decisive steps to address the worsening situation in our country, which has become the world poverty capital under their watch.

“The incompetence, insensitivity, corruption and laid-back attitude of the Buhari administration have continued to bring woes to our nation with an escalated 33% unemployment rate, closure of over 40 million hitherto vibrant businesses with millions of families now unable to afford the basic necessities of life.

” It is painful that despite our national potentials, President Buhari administration has not shown the required commitment of engaging foreign investors and captains of industries to attract investments as being done by Presidents of other countries.

“Instead the Buhari Presidency is only interested in accumulating foreign loans and mortgaging the future of our nation.

“It has therefore becomes clearer that our nation cannot achieve any headway with the APC on the saddle.

“The PDP therefore charges Nigerians to remain focused as we collectively rally on the opportunities granted by democracy to rescue our nation from the stranglehold of APC misrule.”

“I Regret Not Being A US Citizen”- Chimamanda Adichie

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Nigerian writer, Chimamanda Adichie has shared her regret about not becoming a citizen in the United States when she was given the opportunity but rather chose to be a citizen of Nigeria.
In an interview with the media personality and host of Big Brother Naija, Ebuka Obi-Uchendu on Bounce radio, she revealed her regrets for not accepting to be an American citizen.

According to her, everything about Nigeria frustrates her. Chimamanda also disclosed that she has stopped attending catholic churches in Nigeria. She stated that she stopped because some activities become way too much about money, fundraising, and thanksgiving.

In her words…..

“She’s Nigerian but Nigeria deeply frustrates her. She came to the immediate realization that she doesn’t have to be a dutiful daughter or citizen despite wanting to share in the average experience of an average Nigerian. She made the choice of not being a US citizen which she deeply regrets.”

Ondo Government Drags Ex -Deputy Governor To Police Over Unreturned Vehicles

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The Ondo State Government has filed a petition against its immediate past Deputy Governor Agboola Ajayi, for reportedly refusing to return his official vehicles.

In the petition to the Nigerian police, Ajayi was accused of unlawfully being in possession of a Land Cruiser SUV, New Toyota Hilux, New Toyota Hilux and Toyota Hilux.

Senior Special Assistant to Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu on Special Duties and Strategy, Dr. Doyin Odebowale who signed the petition, said he has been mandated to recover all government properties still in the possession of former political office holders in the state, especially those who served in the immediate past administration.

Odebowale also alleged that the former deputy Governor refused to return the vehicle despite all entreaties.

The petition read;

“We lodge this complaint believing that you will use your good offices to look into this brazen act of conversion, and this is being charitable.

“Any person who keeps/detains the property of another with the intent to deprive the owner, permanently, of the usufruct right conferred therefrom, has committed an offence known in law as STEALING.

“This office undertakes to assist the Command with regard to the necessary logistics to recover the converted properties.”

Nigeria To Receive Six Super Tucanos Combat Aircraft From US In July – Presidency

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Nigeria is expected to receive six of the 12 Super Tucanos ordered from the United States in mid-July, the presidency said on Tuesday.

According to presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu, 14 Nigerian pilots are currently training with the aircraft at the Moody Air Force Base in Georgia.

Mr. Garba posted a video of what appeared to be test-flight operations on his verified Twitter handle.

The video was credited to the Sierra Nevada Corporation, a private American aerospace firm.

The announcement comes after the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant-General Ibrahim Attahiru, appeared before a committee of lawmakers at the House of Representatives on Monday.

The committee is reviewing the purchase, use, and control of arms, ammunition, and related hardware by the military, paramilitary, and other law enforcement agencies in Nigeria.

In March, the National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno had been quoted by the BBC as suggesting that funds for arms procurement had gone missing under the immediate past Service Chiefs.

The Office of the National Security Adviser later put out a statement saying Monguno had been quoted out of context.

But with an insurgency still alive in the country’s North-East and the increasing threat of banditry in North-West, critics have continued to question how well-equipped the country’s military is.

Mr. Shehu himself has admitted that the army has had some problem with procuring equipment, as they arrive “in bits and in pieces.”

According to Mr. Shehu, during an interview on Channels Television’s Politics Today last March, procurements made have not been fully delivered.

“In August 2018, they allowed the Nigerian government to buy 12 super Tucano aircraft suitable for the kind of war we are fighting in the North-East,” he said at the time.

“In addition to that, other arms of the military have also made procurements. The navy has done nearly 100 percent of their procurement — equipment delivered.

“The airforce has bought a number of attack helicopters — 35 helicopters from Ukraine. Some of them have been commissioned on national television.

“We have bought a lot of drones, but with the army, there have been problems with procurement. Equipment has been coming bits and in pieces.

“This is not ideal. In fact, our biggest procurement is coming from the UAE. As I speak to you now, it is held up in a situation only diplomacy will resolve. We were talking to them last week; the Nigerian minister of defence actually had a meeting with the ambassador of the UAE to Nigeria, and the idea is to resolve this so that the equipment held up will be released. We need them here.”

NBA Threatens Protest Over JUSUN’s Strike

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The ongoing strike of the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) over demand for financial autonomy may assume another dimension as the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Ikeja branch on Tuesday threatened to stage a protest in its support.

Chairman of NBA Ikeja, Bartholomew Aguegbodo, announced this to reporters after a meeting of the branch executive at the Bar Centre, GRA Ikeja.

Aguegbodo said if today’s meeting between Governors Forum and JUSUN fails to agree on implementation of financial autonomy for the judiciary, the branch: “would have no other option than to take further steps to compel them to comply with the provisions of the 1999 Constitution, as amended.”

Asked what he meant by “further steps,” the Ikeja NBA chairman said: “What we are talking about is willful disobedience to provisions of the constitution.

Details shortly…

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